The Commission will later this year adopt proposals for concrete measures in response to a European Council request to create a Single Telecoms Market, in order to address the problems confirmed in today's data.
Key findings in the European Commission's Digital Agenda (DAE) Scoreboard include:
- Basic Broadband is now virtually everywhere in Europe – satellite performance has improved, helping to cover the 4.5% of population not covered by fixed basic broadband. The Commission is now focused on getting better take-up of satellite where this can bridge remaining gaps.
- Fast broadband now reaches half the population - 54% of EU citizens have broadband available at speeds greater than 30 Mbps.
- Internet access is increasingly going mobile - 36% of EU citizens access the internet via a portable computer or other mobile device (access via mobile phone is up from 7% in 2008 to 27% in 2012). 4th generation mobile (LTE) coverage tripled to 26% in one year.
- Only 2% of homes have ultrafast broadband subscriptions (above 100 Mbps), far from the EU's 2020 target of 50%.
- 50% EU citizens have no or low computer skills. 40% of companies recruiting or trying to recruit IT specialists have difficulties in doing so and the current number of vacancies for ICT specialists has been projected to grow to 900 000 by 2015. The recently launched Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs will target actions toward closing this gap.
- 70% now use the internet regularly at least once a week, up from 67% last year; 54% of disadvantaged people use the internet regularly, up from 51% last year.
- Roaming prices in 2012 have fallen - by almost 5 euro-cents, mainly after the 1st July 2012 Roaming regulation.
- eCommerce is growing steadily, but not cross-border - 45 % of individuals use the internet to buy goods and services, a moderate increase from 43% one year ago; very few buy across borders.
- 87% of enterprises use eGovernment and the proportion of citizens using eGovernment has also increased over the last year to 44% (both up by 3 percentage points).
- Research spending increased slightly despite budgetary restraints.
Malta has a relatively low share of high speed and ultra-fast connections, but has one of the highest availability of Next Generation Access. In mobile broadband, use on computers and on smartphones remains close to the average.
The take-up (subscriptions as a percentage of population) of fixed broadband was 32.6% in January 2013, 3.8% above the European average of 28.8% and 1.7% higher than in 2012. Meanwhile, the share of high speed connections (at least 30 Mbps) was significantly lower than average (1.7% compared to 14.8% in the EU) and ultra-fast connections (at least 100 Mbps) accounted for less than 1% of all subscriptions (3.4% in the EU).